My favorite season of the year is just about here, and it conjures dreams of relaxing days cozying up on a park bench as colorful leaves flutter all around, or cuddling under a blanket with a new book. Here are a couple to try if you haven't yet.
Wednesday, September 20, 2023
Friday, September 15, 2023
Monday, August 21, 2023
3 Reasons to Visit Northumberland in The Ghost of Greyson Hall (with mini teasers from the book)
1. Breathtaking Scenery
Snow-covered hills and open land rolled into woodland beyond the farms, and where the sun and wind contrived to clear away snow, patches of brown grass yearned for spring.
2. Mystery and History
Descendants of the family attempted to unravel the mystery of the eighteenth-century puzzle, alas to no avail. Few took the matter seriously—after all, it was long before their time—and the image of a graceful beauty with hair as pale as the risen moon and eyes the color of waves on the sea faded into history.
He grazed her with his eyes until his penetrating stare touched every inch of visible flesh. It wasn’t enough, and she knew that when this man kissed her, when their bodies found a way to come together, no force would dare pull them apart.
The Ghost of Greyson Hall
- Alaina Claiborne
- Blackwood Crossing
- Clayton's Honor
Monday, May 29, 2023
I wrote this post back in 2013, and though I've added more reasons since, this original list is still accurate.
- Writing is exceptionally fun - even when it's mind-numbingly frustrating.
- I can travel to anywhere my imagination wishes, anyplace I can conjure and meet anyone I desire.
- I can pretend it's cold in the dead of winter when it's scorching hot in the summer.
- Writing what I want, not what others tell me to write.
- I have to work 24 hours a day but I get to choose which 24.
- When I find the exact right words to express myself, I feel like a genius, if but for a moment.
- I enjoy the research.
- I break laws without actually breaking laws.
- My characters exist outside any boundaries except those I choose.
- Satisfaction in the finished work, and knowing someone else will enjoy it.
Tuesday, May 2, 2023
The Castle Keepers
by Aimie K. Runyan, J'nell Ciesielski, Rachel McMillan
'The Castle Keepers is a fascinating story of love's ability to overcome family curses, scandals and even war. Told in three parts, this multi-generational tale is wonderfully heartwarming!' -- Madeline Martin, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Bookshop in London
Leedswick Castle has housed the Alnwick family in the English countryside for generations, despite a family curse determined to destroy their legacy and erase them from history.
1870. After a disastrous dinner at the Astor mansion forces her to flee New York in disgrace, socialite Beatrice Holbrook knows her performance in London must be a triumph. When she catches the eye of Charles Alnwick, one of the town’s most enviably-titled bachelors, she prepares to attempt a social coup and become the future Marchioness of Northridge. When tragedy and scandal strike the Alnwick family, Beatrice must assume the role of a lifetime: that of her true, brave self.
1917. Artist Elena Hamilton arrives in Northumberland determined to transform a soldier’s wounds into something beautiful. Tobias Alnwick’s parents have commissioned a lifelike mask to help their son return to his former self after battle wounds partially destroyed his face. But Elena doesn’t see a man who needs fixing—she sees a man who needn’t hide. Yet secrets from their past threaten to chase away the peace they’ve found in each other and destroy the future they’re creating.
1945. Alec Alnwick returns home from the war haunted but determined to leave death and destruction behind. With the help of Brigitta Mayr, the brilliant young psychoanalyst whose correspondence was a lifeline during his time on the Western Front, he reconstructs his family’s large estate into a rehabilitation center for similarly wounded soldiers. Now Alec’s efforts may be the only chance to redeem his family legacy—and break the curse on the Alnwick name—once and for all.
Enjoy an Excerpt
~Rule No. 1~
All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.
New York City
Beatrice examined her reflection in the mirror, and though she didn’t risk her mother’s ire by commenting on her own appearance, she knew she was ready to take the stage for one of the most important performances of her life.
Daddy wore his best tailcoat with mercifully fewer complaints than usual. For this, Beatrice offered silent thanks. She didn’t need her father’s grumbling and her mother’s resultant henpecking to rile her nerves. Her sweet-natured father’s grousing was a way of flirting with Mama, but Beatrice found it exasperating when it happened at important moments.
Tonight they would dine at the home of Caroline Astor. Mrs. William Backhouse Astor, the single most influential person in all of New York society. And Beatrice, if she ever wanted admittance to Mrs. Astor’s good graces, would have to be flawless. Her hope was that if she played the part well enough, she just might secure a proposal from Thomas Graham.
Thomas, who actually watched plays when he went to the theater rather than attending purely so he could be seen by those who mattered. Thomas, who was the only company that felt superior to the company of her beloved journal, a pen, and a roaring fire in her bedroom.
Thomas, whose piercing gaze made her stomach wobble and her breath stop in her throat with the merest glance. Thomas, who had spent a great deal of social capital to secure this all-important invitation in hopes of advancing Beatrice and her family in society. Beatrice hoped it was so his parents could have no objection to their forming an attachment beyond seeing each other at social events and in the gathering areas at the theater once or twice a week.
Thomas, who would be the great compromise: a position to please her mother and the potential for the honest-to-goodness love match Beatrice longed for but had never hoped to aspire to.
Befitting the event, Beatrice and her mother dressed in fine silks and tasteful jewels. Their ruffled bustle skirts were like sugary confections—flowing masterpieces of fabric, rather than meringue— that seemed to defy the very laws of nature. Their restrictive bodices defied nature as well, molding the shape of the wearer into the feminine ideal. Their hair was just as elaborate—a massive tower of braids and curls that took the skill of a sculptor to achieve. Their money was so new, it was practically fresh from the printer’s, but Mama knew full well how to spend it.
End of Excerpt. Shared with permission.
'Take one castle and the dramatic tales of three generations of fascinating characters who reside there, and you're in for a treat with The Castle Keepers by Aimie K. Runyan, J'nell Ciesielski, and Rachel McMillan. Every generation has its challenges, but for the owners of Leedswick Castle, their actions will affect their descendants over and over again. Filled with sweet romances, a little humor, and touches of intrigue, this novel written in three parts is sure to delight readers!' -- Eliza Knight, USA TODAY bestselling author of Starring Adele Astaire
Meet the Authors
Aimie K. Runyan
Internationally bestselling author Aimie K. Runyan writes to celebrate unsung heroines. She has written six historical novels (and counting!) and is delving into the exciting world of contemporary women's fiction. She has been a finalist for the Colorado Book Award three times, a nominee for the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers' 'Writer of the Year,' and a Historical Novel Society's Editors' Choice selection. Aimie is active as a speaker and educator in the writing community in Colorado and beyond. She lives in the beautiful Rocky Mountains with her wonderful husband, two adorable (usually) children, two very sweet cats, and a pet dragon. Visit her online at aimiekrunyan.com; Instagram: @bookishaimie; Facebook: @aimiekrunyan; Twitter: @aimiekrunyan.
Bestselling author with a passion for heart-stopping adventure and sweeping love stories, J’nell Ciesielski weaves fresh takes into romances of times gone by. When not creating dashing heroes and daring heroines, she can be found dreaming of Scotland, indulging in chocolate of any kind, or watching old black-and-white movies. She is a Florida native who now lives in Virginia with her husband, daughter, and lazy beagle. Learn more at www.jnellciesielski.com. Instagram: @jnellciesielski; Facebook: @J’nellCiesielski.
Rachel McMillan is the author of The London Restoration, The Mozart Code, the Herringford and Watts mysteries, the Van Buren and DeLuca mysteries, and the Three Quarter Time series of contemporary Viennese romances. She is also the author of Dream, Plan, Go: A Travel Guide to Inspire Independent Adventure. Rachel lives in Toronto, Canada. Visit her online at rachelmcmillan.net; Instagram: @rachkmc; Facebook: @rachkmc1; Twitter: @rachkmc; Pinterest: @rachkmc.